KOCHI: Though not identical, natural rubber and synthetic rubber are considered twins as an impact on one will automatically reflect on the other in the overall industry, said Rajiv Budhraja, director general, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association, at a session of the India Rubber Meet (IRM) 2018 here.
On the concerns of rubber farmers, Jom Jacob, senior economist, Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries said it was a matter which needed to be addressed.
Though Thailand is currently the largest producer of rubber in the world, China, due to its policy revisions, is on the way to increase its production in the coming years, said Jacob. He said if the conditions are favourable, India can also make a potential production of over 72 per cent of the present active production in the country.
Highlighting the unfavourable agro-climate for growing rubber in India, James Jacob, director, Rubber Research Institute of India, presented the ‘Current Scenario of Indian Natural Rubber Sector’ in another session. Compared to export earnings of spices, tea and coffee, rubber stood way ahead. However, the industry was struggling for revival due to low production, he said.
Northeast India has the probability of cultivating rubber to increase its production in the country, but high risk of cyclones in the region makes it non-feasible. “We cannot take a huge risk, as the northeast region is highly prone to cyclones. A huge investment will go to waste by taking up the risk,” James Jacob said.
He said rubber productivity in India is much lesser outside Kerala. “Kerala contributes over 70 per cent of natural rubber to the domestic market than other states. Only contributions from other states and the overall rise in rubber production can determine the industry’s growth,” he said.